Finding out you’re having a baby is great news. However, this wonderful news can create feelings of melancholy if you’re doing it alone. In fact, many single mothers-to-be deal with feelings of anxiety and stress.
While having a baby alone can be challenging, you can do it with the right preparation. Here’s a list of ways to prepare for your baby as a single mom.
1. Ask loved ones for help
Whether your partner passes away or doesn’t want to be a part of your child’s life or if you choose to raise a baby without the biological father’s presence, it’s a good idea to recruit help elsewhere. Reach out to your family and friends about taking the baby while you work or even for a little mommy time. Depending on the circumstances, the paternal side of the family may want to help.
2. Make every appointment
As a single mom, you need to make sure your child remains healthy. Therefore, make sure you attend every doctor’s appointment you can. If you’re nervous about going alone, ask potential caregivers to attend. That way, they understand proper protocol, especially in emergency situations.
3. Create a realistic budget
With one income, you’ll have to spend your money responsibly. Create a list of monthly expenses you need for your baby and set money aside to pay for them. Your pregnancy is also a great time to invest in life insurance for your little one and add it to your monthly budget.
4. Buy some items in advance
If possible, buy some of your baby items before you give birth. Having diapers, wipes, bottles and other items you know you’ll need will put your mind at ease. Throwing a baby shower is another way to get people to help support you and your baby before the birth and also ease some of your financial burden. Create a registry to help buyers understand what you need most.
5. Be open with your boss
As a single parent, you need a constant revenue stream. After giving birth, you’ll need to go on maternity leave. Beforehand, speak to your supervisors about your return. They may or may not be flexible, but having honest conversations will either keep you there or allow you to find a new job.
6. Eat healthy foods
Remember, your baby’s first nutritional building blocks come from you. Leafy greens, fruits, proteins and plenty of water are paramount during pregnancy. If you can’t meet your daily requirements, speak to your healthcare provider about pregnancy-friendly alternatives.
7. Research adequate child care
There are some days friends and family won’t be available. Prepare by searching for quality child-care options that you can trust. Ask your loved ones for recommendations and check their accreditation. If everything checks out, you can trust them to take care of your child.
8. Cut yourself some slack
Being a parent is hard, especially when you’re single. Between work and motherhood, you will have some tough moments. If you have an outburst or breakdown, remember to give yourself a break. Acknowledge your behavior and find better conflict resolutions for the future.
9. Create a daily routine
Things can get pretty hectic without a daily routine. A great way to get ahead of everything is to create a daily routine blueprint for when the baby arrives. This also helps your support system with their tasks while you’re on maternity leave.
Even if you have a million things to do, get some rest. The later months are harder, so you have to make a genuine effort to sleep comfortably. Whether you work in a nap during the day or go to bed early, make sure you get enough sleep every day so you and your baby remain healthy.
Single motherhood will be tough, but it can also be a rewarding experience for you and your baby. When you take time to prepare for your baby as a single mom during pregnancy, you’ll have an easier time persevering after the birth. You and the right support system will ensure your baby has a bright future.